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Hans Reichel

Watercolourist, Dreamlike representation, surrealist miniaturist

(Würzburg, 1892 - Paris, 1958)

After his mother's remarriage, Hans Reichel lived in Munich from 1896. 
After attending the Wasserburg am Inn Institute, he decided against his family's wishes not to continue his studies and worked in a travel agency in Munich. He worked in a travel agency in Munich, frequenting the "Café Stephanie", where he met the avant-garde and tried to make a living as a painter and writer. 

In 1917 Hans Reichel set up his studio in the small manor house of Werneckschlôssl in Munich, which he later moved into with his friend Paul Kee. He met the writer Rainer Maria Rilke and briefly attended Hans Hofmann's School of Modern Art. Between 1917 and 1923 he held several exhibitions in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt. At the Bauhaus in Weimar, he met Vassili Kandinsky, Walter Gropius and Lyonel Feininger in 1924.

After several trips to Switzerland and Italy, Hans Reichel settled in Paris in 1928 in Montparnasse, where he met the photographer Brassai, the painters Bram van Velde and Roger Bissière and the gallery owner Jeanne Bucher, who was to take care of his work. Between 1930 and 1936, Bissière organised three exhibitions for him at the Académie Ranson. In 1935, he made a trip to Spain where he met Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell. 

From 1939 to 1943, Hans Reichel was interned as a German national in the camps of Meslay-du-Maine in Mayenne, Albi and Gurs, where in 1941 and 1942 he produced Le Cahier de Gurs, which is now preserved among other works in the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar (42 watercolours on 12 sheets). In

1943, he was placed on probation in Cazaubon in the Gers, escaped and went underground in 1944. In the Meudon camp, he met Lucy Schimek, who became his companion.
From 1946 onwards, Hans Reichel exhibited regularly at the Jeanne Bucher gallery, but also at the La Hune bookshop in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (in 1959, with Vieira da Silva), in New York, Zurich, Lucerne, Ascona and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (1956).

 He became a naturalised French citizen in 1950. 

In 1952, he was awarded the Jongkind Prize, and his reputation as a "surrealist miniaturist" was confirmed by three retrospective exhibitions in Paris, Hanover and the Cologne Museum.

In 1975, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris organised a major retrospective exhibition of Hans Reichel's work.


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